Cervical screening has recently changed in Australia.
The Pap smear has been replaced with a new Cervical Screening Test. The new test looks for the cause of most cervical cancer, human papilloma virus (HPV), and it is advised to have one every five years. If you have had a Pap test before, the way the test is done will look and feel the same.
The procedure might be a bit uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be painful. If it does hurt, tell your healthcare professional straight away.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED A CERVICAL SCREENING TEST?
If you are a person with a cervix aged 25-74 years, and have ever been sexually active, you should have a Cervical Screening Test every five years until the age of 74. Your first test is due at 25 years of age or two years after your last Pap test.
I’VE HAD THE HPV VACCINE, DO I STILL NEED TO HAVE REGULAR CERVICAL SCREENING TESTS?
The HPV vaccine does not protect against all types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer so it is important to continue regular screening.
PREPARING FOR YOUR CERVICAL SCREENING TEST
- Consider wearing a skirt to your appointment as this may make you feel more comfortable
- Talk through any concerns with your healthcare professional before the test
- The best time to have your test is in the middle of your menstrual cycle, a few days after you have finished your period and up to a week or so before your next period is due
More information about cervical screening go to http://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/cervicalscreening
Make an appointment
As well as offering Cervical Screening at our clinic in Northbridge, SHQ also runs a Well Women’s Cervical Screening clinic at Midland Women’s Health Care Place (4 The Avenue Midland) every Tuesday. Please phone 9250 2221 to make an appointment at Midland. For Northbridge clinic appointments please click here.